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Last Modified: April 16, 2020 9:24 am

Artists and freelancers have experienced substantial financial hardship since the COVID-related decrease in public gatherings. This collection of funds and grants aims to only include those that are actively dispersing funds and soliciting applicants.

National Relief Funds and Grants

The Artists’ Fellowship

The Artists’ Fellowship provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. Primarily serving artists in New York.  

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund in support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19. 

CERF + (Formerly the Craft Emergency Relief Fund)

CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+’s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief. CERF+ is currently focusing its relief aid on those infected with Covid-19 who require intensive medical care.

Freelancers Union

Freelancers Relief Fund will provide financial assistance of up to $1,000 to freelancers who are experiencing sudden hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether as a result of illness, lost work, or caregiving responsibilities.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts

Created in 1993 to further FCA’s mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists who:

  • Have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding
  • Incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates

Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad.

Kinkade Family Foundation

The Kinkade Family Foundation is proud to administer a new Emergency Grant for curators who are developing projects that promote artwork of contemporary and experimental nature. The Emergency Grant provides funding for a curatorial project that sheds light on the world during this time of darkness. Priority will be given to curators who have a venue secured for their project and are greatly impacted by the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19. 

The program will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected emergencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The grant is available to curators who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories. If you aren’t sure if your discipline fits within these guidelines, please contact the grants administrator.

Performing Arts

The Actors Fund’s Entertainment Assistance Program

Any performing artist or entertainment industry professional is eligible for financial assistance from the Actors Fund as long as they either have a minimum of five years of industry experience (while making over $6,500 a year from their creative pursuit for three of those years), or 20 years of industry employment while earning at least $5,000 from it for 10 of those years. In addition to helping with rent or medical expenses, the Actors Fund offers information on affordable housing, health care services, landlord-tenant issues and more. Those interested must contact the Actors Fund directly to apply.

Indie Theatre Fund Covid19 Emergency Grant

The Indie Theater Fund is offering unrestricted rapid relief grants to indie theater companies and individual artists in need due to the financial strain of closings etc related to Covid19. We will be offering grants of up to $500 on an on-going basis until our funds run out. The more we raise in our campaign, the more we will be able to provide as we are allocating 100% to these grants and our community resource efforts. Please share the Facebook campaign far and wide. We are prioritizing companies and artists with budgets less than $250,000. We will be reviewing on a first come first serve basis and will do our best to turn these around quickly.


AGMA Relief Fund

The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund provides support and temporary financial assistance to members who are in need. 

The Blues Foundation HART Fund

This one is specific to blues musicians. The HART Fund offers financial assistance for health-related expenses, and artists need to call or email directly to apply.

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund

The Equal Sound Corona Fund was set up on short notice to provide direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of Corona-related event cancellations.

Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund

The JMEF is committed to helping jazz professionals, especially older musicians, overcome their hard times and to help them get back on their feet, making emergency funds available for immediate needs.  They have programs for housing and emergency assistance, a network of pro bono medical care providers, and disaster relief.

Musicians’ Foundation Grant

If you’ve been a working musician in the United States for the last five years, the Musicians’ Foundation Grant offers grants for emergency situations like medical care or personal or family crisis. The foundation will pay recipients’ expenses directly rather than writing them a check, and grants range between $500 and $3,000.

MusiCares Emergency Financial Assistance

Musicians and music industry professionals experiencing unexpected financial hardships can apply to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares program. To be eligible, you must have a documented history as an industry professional for at least five years, or have contributed to six commercially released recordings or videos. MusiCares can fund medical costs, addiction recovery treatment, psychotherapy and basic living expenses such as rent and utilities.

Music Maker Relief Foundation

Helps the pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern musical traditions gain recognition and meet their day to day needs. Criteria for recipients is they be rooted in a Southern musical tradition, be 55 years or older and have an annual income less than $18,000. Musician Sustenance – Grants for necessities such as food, medical needs, housing. Emergency Relief – Substantial one-time grants to recipients in crisis (medical, fire, theft, etc.).

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

Provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. The applicant must be a musician who has regular public performances, or performed on at least three widely released recordings (audio or audiovisual), or written music that has been performed on three widely released recordings, or published on three occasions.

MusicCares Foundation

MusiCares may grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses.

Applicants must be able to show that they have worked in the music industry for at least five years or that they have six commercially released recordings or videos (singles).

Musicians Foundation

Helps professional musicians who have worked five or more years in the U.S.  by providing emergency financial assistance in meeting current living, medical and allied expenses.  Applicants must be able to show that their music is or was their primary source of income.

Sweet Relief

Sweet Relief is here to provide immediate assistance and we have created this DONOR-DIRECTED FUND with a limited amount of funds available to be used specifically for musicians and music industry workers affected by the Coronavirus. Funds raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses to those impacted due to sickness or loss of work.

Visual Arts

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant

If you’re a sculptor, printmaker or painter with over ten years of experience, the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program offers larger grants of up to $15,000 for unforeseen expenses. The application specifies that it’s a one-time grant related to a specific emergency, such as fire, flood or medical needs.

CERF+ Artists’ Safety Net

Artists working in craft disciplines—including but not limited to clay, fiber, metal, wood, glass, concrete, plastic, synthetic fibers or recycled materials—can apply for emergency grants of up to $3,000 from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. They must demonstrate that they’ve been making a sizable portion of their living from their craft for three years, or that they’ve been involved in traditional or folk art on an ongoing basis. Artists are asked to submit an inquiry form before they can apply.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants

Professional visual artists, media artists and choreographers living anywhere in the United States can apply for Rauschenberg Emergency Grants of up to $5,000 to cover unforeseen expenses. Please note that a panel reviewing the applications will begin to meet in May and June, so this program isn’t the one for those with pressing, short-term needs.

Format: The Photographer Fund

At Format, we take our mission to support the photography community seriously. That’s why we created a $25,000 fund to help freelancers impacted by COVID-19.

Writers and Authors

Authors League Fund

Journalists, playwrights, poets and authors facing sudden loss of income or unforeseen medical expenses in the United States can apply for emergency grants from the Authors League Fund. The grants, however, prioritize experienced professionals who’ve either been published by traditional publishing houses or publications with national circulation, or have had their work produced by mid-sized or large theaters. The amount of the grant is not specified, and depends on the severity of the emergency.

The Fund gives open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income or other misfortune.

Carnegie Fund for Authors

The applicant must be an American author who has published at least one full-length work — fiction or nonfiction — that has been published by a mainstream publisher. Applicants cannot have eligibility determined by a work that they paid to have published. A work may have been published in eBook format only, or in hardcover or softcover format, or in more than one format.

An applicant must demonstrate need; the emergency may be because of illness or some other urgent need such as fire, flood, hurricane, etc. Documentation should be included with the application: a doctor’s letter or other proof of the emergency situation.

Dramatists Guild Foundation

It is vital to support writers in times of need so that they can get back to doing what they do best. DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund

PEN America gives out need-based grants of up to $2,000 for emergency expenses to writers and journalists, and has an additional program for those who are HIV positive. The organization is looking to bolster these programs amid coronavirus, and plans to announce those updates on March 25.

Queer Writer’s of Color Relief Fund

This fund is for queer writers of color only, not organizations or nonprofits, who are in need of financial assistance right now. Our goal is to make disbursements once per day after $5,000 is received. Again, the total goal is $100,000 to help at least 100 writers. If disbursements haven’t been made yet, we are working on it as fast as possible.

American Society of Journalists & Authors Writers Emergency Assistance Fund

Helping established freelance writers across the country who, because of advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis, are unable to work. Membership in ASJA not required. No grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects; no grants to fund works-in-progress of any kind. Maximum grant: $3,500.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Offers interest-free loans to members facing unexpected medical expenses.


COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks

This fundraiser on GoFundMe has a goal of $250,000, and organizers Amita Swadhin, Treva Ellison, Natalie Havlin, Carrie Hawks, Ren-yo Hwang and Alisa Zipursky are distributing the funds through $100 microgrants to black, indigenous and people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. The fund was created especially to help cover the living expenses of self-employed people and service workers, and isn’t limited by geographic location. Although applications for aid are closed, allies can still donate to provide additional support for grantees who have already been accepted.

COVID 19 Artist / Freelancer Emergency Funding and Resource Library

Sourced from various online platforms and articles being shared online. Feel free to share any additional resources by reaching out to Tanya at [email protected] or Twitter/Instagram @tanyaperezrulez


For The People: Illinois and Artists of Color Emergency Grants

The For The People Collective is offering emergency microgrants of $500 to Illinois-bsaed artists & freelancers of color whose income has been affected during the pandemic. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until donations have run out. Check out the link for more information, including an FAQ.


Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

The Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund was created for individuals working in the arts sector and impacted by the current public health crisis. Primary concern is for the health and well being of individuals: specifically independent artists and staff working for small-to-midsize nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. This fund will provide rapid response $500 grants to help bridge the severe lost wages that make many in our creative community vulnerable.


New Orleans Business Alliance Relief Fund

As a result of the anticipated local economic impact of COVID-19, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is standing up a relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly impacted via loss of income.  


Frederick County, MD Artist Relief Fund

We welcome applications from all artists living in Frederick, but will prioritize lower income artists.


Boston Artist Relief Fund

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). 

Boston Singers’ Relief Fund

The Boston Singers’ Relief Fund, a program of Boston Singers’ Resource, is offering emergency relief for singers with gigs cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Boston MusicMaker Relief Fund

The Record Co. has established a fund to provide financial relief to music makers in the Boston area experiencing lost revenue from gig cancellations resulting form COVID-19. Rapid grants of up to $200 will be made to eligible applications on a first come, first served basis.

Theater Community Benevolent Fund

All active individual theater practitioners – those whose life’s work is the theater, regardless of amount of income from said work – and all operational non-profit organizations of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas are eligible to apply for TCBF funds. It is expected that individual applicants have an established and documented history of theatrical performance, directing, design, writing, production, or administration in Greater Boston and/or the surrounding areas.


Crosshatch Artist Emergency Fund

We are able to fund individual artists (not non-profits or institutions) who earn 33% or more of their income from their art, who have lost income because of COVID-19 related cancellations, and who live in the 5-county area of Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau. 

Greater Columbus Arts Council

This grant program is for individual artists across disciplines who are struggling to have their BASIC NEEDS met (shelter, food, and medical) due to loss of artistic income from COVID-19. If you have alternate sources of income, a financial safety net, or are able to meet your most basic needs, we ask that you refrain from applying so that we may serve those who are most vulnerable.


Springboard For The Arts

The Personal Emergency Relief Fund helps artists in Minnesota recover from personal emergencies by helping pay an unanticipated, emergency expense. As part of our response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we have expanded the guidelines to include lost income due to the cancellation of a specific, scheduled gig or opportunity (i.e. commissions, performances, contracts) due to Coronavirus/COVID-19 precautionary measures. Artists can request up to $500 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost.

New York City

Max’s Kansas City Project – New York State

The Max’s Kansas City Project provides Emergency Relief and Resources to financially distressed individuals in the arts for housing, medical, and legal aid through one-time grants between $500-$1000. These grants are limited to New York State residents and to those who were associated with Max’s Kansas City, the New York City restaurant/bar/club formerly located on Park Avenue South.


Freelance dance workers are eligible to apply for monthly awards of $500 with a maximum of $1,500 across the grant period, from March 2020 to May 2020. Applicants must submit an application for each month. Applications for March funds are open. Applications for April funds will open on Friday, April 10, 2020. Applications for May funds will open on Friday, May 8, 2020. Applicants may submit applications for any month throughout the grant period and will be able to carry over information from one application to the next, as needed.

North Carolina

Greensboro Artist Emergency Relief Fund

We encourage any artist in need of support due to cancellations from the outbreak of COVID-19 to fill out this application. This fund is a money-in, money-out fund. ArtsGreensboro will disperse funds weekly, based on the amount donated.  This fund is directed to working artists, not organizations or nonprofits. 


Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Emergency Fund for Artists

The Emergency Fund for Artists will now provide up to $500 in assistance to artists experiencing loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Emergency Fund also remains available for other unforeseen emergencies that may impact your ability to work, such as flood, theft, or fire.


Red Dirt Relief Fund

While we cannot know how COVID-19 will spread or how long this pandemic will last, we do know that this virus has universally devastated our working music community. A majority of gigs and festivals for the coming weeks and months have cancelled or postponed. While some Oklahomans are fortunate to have paid leave, remote-work options and other safety nets, working musicians without gigs are left without income to pay their bills. As an organization that provides a safety net of emergency assistance to Oklahoma music people, we cannot imagine a more critical time to come to their aid.


Seattle Artists Relief Fund

This fund is for individual artists only who live in the greater Seattle area, not organizations or nonprofits. There are larger funds in the Seattle area dedicated to supporting orgs and nonprofits, and our focus is on the individual gig workers who need assistance now.


California (Bay Area/Los Angeles)

Bay Area Emergency Fund: Artists/Event Production

This fund for artists and event producers who make their living from live events is accepting donations, but so far doesn’t have an application process available. When the application goes live, it will require bank statements and proof of an event cancellation that resulted in loss of income. This is a need-based grant; those who need help with rent, medical care, utility bills and childcare will be prioritized.

COVID-19 Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund

Theatre Bay Area organized a fund for theater workers facing a sudden loss of income due to coronavirus. While its website doesn’t specify how much aid is available, they encourage those seeking support to email to apply.

The Safety Net Fund 

The Safety Net Fund is offering financial support to artists who typically make their living offline, at in-person events and performances. To qualify, you must reside in the Bay Area (or near it, as some San Joaquin and Santa Cruz county zip codes are eligible), must provide proof of an artistic endeavor in the last six months, cannot be eligible for unemployment insurance from the state, and must have earned less than $1,000 of income in the last 30 days.

Sex Worker ER Grant Fund

Sex workers who rely on in-person business can apply for $50–$200 microgrants to cover short-term expenses from Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS), a grassroots advocacy organization. BAWS also uses its social media profiles to amplify sex workers’ GoFundMe and other crowdfunding campaigns, and is accepting donations from allies.

WCCW COVID-19 Emergency Health Grant for Artists

The Women’s Center for Creative Work launched a weekly grant program to support low income artists in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To get this $1,000 grant, artists must apply by Fridays 11:59 PM PDT. In order to qualify to apply, artists must be low income, identify as a woman, as trans or nonbinary, and/or as a person of color. There are additional eligibility categories such as being undocumented, immunocompromised, housing insecure, and more.

The SF Queer Nightlife Fund

The San Francisco Arts & Artists Relief Fund will initially provide $1.5 million in financial support to the individuals and organizations that anchor our vulnerable and vitally important cultural communities.

Artist Relief Fund

The Crenshaw Dairy Mart has teamed up with Justice LA, For Freedoms, & Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) to launch an artist relief fund for those impacted by the pandemic. To apply, there is an open call for artists to respond to the prompt, “Care Not Cages” through any medium. Awards range from $500 to $1,500. The deadline is May 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM PDT. Submissions should be submitted to [email protected]

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